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TextFiles: Jim Goodwin

          This document is copyrighted, 1989, by Jim Goodwin.  It
          may be freely distributed provided no changes,
          additions or deletions are made, and providing this
          copyright notice accompanies all copies.  I would like
          to thank John McAfee and the entire HomeBase users
          group for providing the raw materials for this

     It is difficult to name, identify and classify PC viruses.
Everyone who first discovers a virus will name it and describe
what they think of it.  In most cases, the virus is not new and
has been named and described dozens of times before.  None of the
names and few of the descriptions will match.  While I'm writing
this, for example, I feel certain that someone, somewhere has
just been infected by the Jerusalem virus and they are telling
their co-workers and friends about it as if it were newborn - and
for them perhaps it is.  It will be impossible to verify the
strain and variety of the infection, however, unless we can get a
living sample of the virus to analyze and compare with other
strains of this same virus.  So problem number one is filtering
the reports of infection and collecting samples that can be
placed under the knife.

     Problem number two is - where do you draw the line between
an original virus and a true variation of the virus?  The
original Brain virus, for example, could only infect a floppy
diskette.  Do the varieties of the Brain that can infect hard
disks (but in every other respect are identical) deserve to be
called new viruses, or are they still the Brain?  What about
further modifications that destroy data?  Is this now a new
virus?  What if someone extracts a segment of the Brain code and
uses it as a basis for a new virus?  What if nothing changes but
the imbedded text data, so that the virus is in every way
functionally identical, but the volume label changes to "SMURF"
instead of BRAIN.  All of these modifications to the Brain have
been discovered and logged.  How do we deal with them?
     I choose to deal with these modifications in the simplest
way I know.  If the virus differs in any way from the original
(assuming that the "original" can in fact be identified), then I
log it as a new strain.  This relieves me from having to make
decisions.  Those of you who see the world differently can merely
take this listing and lump together all of the different strains
that you like.  That way we'll all be happy.

     This will be, by the way, my last virus document.  I have
worked double time for the past eighteen months helping John
McAfee and his Homebase folks and, while I have thouroughly
enjoyed myself, I have finally burned out.  It has been great fun
and I've learned a lot, and hopefully some of my works, like the
product review with Sankary and Marsh, will end up being somehow
useful to the world.  But now I have the irresistible urge to go
fishing, and, perhaps afterwards, to contemplate my navel for a
few years.  In-between times I intend to write a book on the
craziness in this industry and about the unique personalities
I've had the pleasure to work with in the Virus Marine Corps.
It's been quite an adventure.  Thank you all.

Jim Goodwin    From the Homebase BBS  408 988 4004

                    THE VIRUSES

     I have arranged these viruses so that similar varieties are
described in the sequence in which they appeared within the virus
sub-group (to the best of my knowledge).  Not everyone agrees
with my groupings.  Many people believe, for instance, that the
Golden Gate-C (Mazatlan Virus) is a distinctly original virus and
is not a variation of the Alameda.  I think differently and have
endeavored to show how the Golden Gate evolved from the Alameda,
through each precursor virus.  I cannot prove, of course, that
the sequence of appearances is the correct sequence, and in many
cases I have had to guess.  If anyone wishes to re-order
these virus, I will not be offended.

     I have not included any of the specific application trojans
in this list.  There has been a lot of discussion about the Lotus
123 and DBASE "viruses", for example.  These are not replicating
programs and I do not classify them as viruses.  I had originally
intended a separate list to include these non-replicating trojans
but Time caught up with me.


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Posted on Friday, January 25, 2013 @ 21:34:14 EST by Southern
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